SUNRISE BEACH, Mo.
-- Led by a standout week from senior Celeste Gassman
, the Creighton women’s golf team completed its season with a tie for seventh place at the Missouri Valley Conference Championships. The par-72 club at Porto Cima played host to the tournament, Creighton's last before joining the BIG EAST Conference in July.
The Jays finished with a team score of 1,038 (341-348-349). Illinois State claimed its fifth title in six seasons shooting a 977 (333-317-327). Wichita State came in second with a 980 (325-317-338). Southern Illinois (326-317-339) and Bradley (328-317-337) finished in a tie for third with a 982.
Creighton's tie for seventh matched its best finish at the Valley championship since a fifth-place showing in 2005.
Illinois State’s Katie Jean won the individual title for the second straight year after shooting a 233 (77-74-82). Wichita State’s Bryce Schroeder (85-75-78) and Bradley’s Danielle Lemek (76-82-80) finished tied for second with a 238.
Gassman led the Jays, as the Kansas City, Mo., native finished fourth with a 239 (79-83-77) in her final collegiate meet. The finish was the second-best women's performance by a Creighton individual in league tournament history, trailing only a tie for second by Elizabeth Morell in 2003.
The top-five finish also guaranteed Gassman a spot on the MVC's All-Conference Team. She is just the third player in program history to earn such an accolade, joining Morell (2002 and 2003) and Jennifer Martens (1999).
Creighton sophomore Katie Morel
finished tied for 28th with a 255 (87-82-86), while freshman Grace Yowell
finished 43rd with a 275 (90-90-95). Sophomore Mary Cathryn Rau
shot a 293 (91-93-109) and finished 47th. Rachel Thompson
had rounds of 85 (Sunday) and 91 (Tuesday), but did not place in the individual standings after missing Monday's round due to illness.
Illinois State’s Jean was named the Golfer of the Year and Elite 18 award winner, while Bradley's Lemek was named the Newcomer of the Year. Bradley’s Mary Swanson was named the Coach of the Year, the first time in a decade that the league's top coaching honor went to a non-champion.
The All-Conference team featured Gassman, Jean, Lemek, Schroeder, Missouri State’s Emma Clegg, Ariel Tidwell and Megan Thompson, Southern Illinois’ Cassie Rushing and Shaina Rennegarbe, and Northern Iowa’s Alex Zenor.
The Bluejays will return seven golfers for the 2013-2014 season.
Katie Jean, Illinois State
Danielle Lemek, Bradley
Emma Clegg, Missouri State
Megan Thompson, Missouri State
Cassie Rushing, Southern Illinois
Bryce Schroeder, Wichita State
Celeste Gassman, Creighton
Shaina Rennegarbe, Southern Illinois
Alex Zenor, UNI
Ariel Tidwell, Missouri State
Elite 18 Award Winner – Katie Jean, Illinois State
Medalist – Katie Jean, Illinois State
Newcomer of the Year – Danielle Lemek, Bradley
Golfer of the Year – Katie Jean, Illinois State
Coach of the Year – Mary Swanson, Bradley